I try to clear my head, but can still see the dead men across the street, their death replaying over and over in my mind like a newsreel. I see Romek’s face. His brown eyes that crinkled when he laughed. His smile that could light up even the darkest of days.
Let me see what we have.” I circled around the counter and over to the back wall where our bookshelves homed classic Polish writers. Mother wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s just … well, most young men who frequent this store limit their search to cigarettes and the newspaper.”
“I like cigarettes and the newspaper just as well as the next man. But when you’re a student of literature, you’re apt to enjoy a good poem or two.”
There. Now I knew five things about him.
I know what Romek would do. He’d stop running. He’d search his pockets for anything he might have that would help the suffering people before him. Romek wouldn’t turn a blind eye to them, like I am about to do.
“Your mother’s going to kill me if I don’t get you home soon,” he said, a hint of reluctance in his voice. Could it be he didn’t want the evening to end?
“Yes, she will,” I agreed with a little laugh. But I didn’t want to go home.
My hands fall to my side. Did he just thank me? Did a German soldier thank me for lighting his cigarette? What kind of cruel trick is this? I don’t move. I wait for my fate. Will he kill me now? Will he make me run, then shoot me from behind? Why doesn’t he do it already? What is he waiting for?
This is one of the stories where I'm like WHY DID I CHOOSE SUCH A HEART WRENCHING TOPIC?! But I've fallen in love with the characters, and I hope you do too.